February 18, 2010
Soaring Beyond Fear: How to Overcome Your Self-Imposed Limits
***** (5 stars) Author’s Personal Story Provides “How to” Journey from Fear to Joy
For a long time, I have believed that fear is the primary blockade that keeps the human race from fulfilling its full potential, so I was eager to read Perry Chinn’s new book “Soaring Beyond Fear: How to Overcome Your Self-Imposed Limits.”
The best part of this book, for me, is that Perry Chinn shares his personal story of how fear originated in his life, how he overcame it, and how he continues to overcome it. People will always feel fear—it’s part of the human condition—but they can also put it in its place, keep an eye on it, and not let it distract them from living their lives fully.
Chinn’s personal story includes overcoming a strict religious upbringing that taught him not to question what is right or wrong. Everything was black or white, and he strove his best to be “good” so he could someday attain Heaven. But overtime, the illusion of religious definitions of right and wrong, and the fear religion created in him, began to crumble. After much questioning and confusion and a dose of chaos added to his life, Chinn managed to set himself free.
Growing up in a fear-based religion is Chinn’s personal story, but he realizes that fear makes its way into our lives regardless of our culture, religion, or environment. We all will know fear simply because we are humans with ego’s. To demonstrate how fear disrupts and consumes our lives and how we can learn to control it, Chinn personifies fear, or more precisely, the ego, the fear-mind, as “Chester”—a character who constantly tries to use fear to control us while enmeshed in his own fears. Chinn depicts Chester as being similar to a court jester. Rather than put up with Chester’s antics, we must learn to put him on his stool in the corner. Through a series of chapters on discovering, observing, and taming Chester, ultimately, we learn to leave fear behind.
Once we overcome fear, we can better understand how fear operates throughout the world, and we can better relate to other people by understanding how their behaviors are often fear-based. Chinn discusses how fear has retarded our politics, how it has been detrimental to how we treat one another personally and globally, and how it has led to our disrespecting our environment. “Soaring Beyond Fear” teaches us to overcome our victim identities, to stop ourselves when we are about to react in fear, and ultimately, to soar beyond fear with self-esteem and courage to make the world a better place.
Chinn’s writing style and tone are personal, humorous, and motivational. One of my favorite passages in the book describes how Chinn’s religious upbringing allowed fear to control his life:
We kids were just trying to navigate through the day without making a big mistake or getting in serious trouble. And all of this was in preparation for attending church with the purpose of serving a loving God, and of course, with hopes of cashing in on the ultimate lottery win of a lifetime: everlasting life in Heaven with Jesus.
This way of living was a bit stressful to say the least, but of course, it was not always a grim picture. Yes, we had happy times, but always an undercurrent of tension was in the background. A striving to “be good,” with constant reinforcement by the church that we were born incomplete, unworthy, and “in sin,” and then the mixed messages of Grace and Original Sin were a lot to wrap my young mind around.
Looking back, it seems incredible! Who could have possibly created a better way to mess with a young person’s mind? With one hand, the church was holding out a carrot of eternal happiness and bliss, while with the other hand, it was pointing out the shame and unworthiness of being born disconnected from God.
One of many, many motivational passages, always tied into his personal experiences, is when Chinn describes a decision to change careers:
But the bottom line was that I was playing someone else’s game. It was time for me to create my own game. It was scary and my wife thought I was more than just a little crazy, but I knew I needed to create a new and different experience and path of opportunity in my life.
You are invited by Spirit to create something new in your life on a daily basis. And probably many times in each day. As you step away from fear, you will more easily recognize these opportunities as the gifts they are. You will slowly stop seeing them as a chasm of fear to fall into and more of an opportunity to spread your wings and soar!
“Soaring Beyond Fear” is one of the most important books I’ve read this year. It may well be that proverbial, “if you read no other book this year” book. Whether it is religion, family, old irrational beliefs, your current job, or anything else that limits you from living your full potential, “Soaring Beyond Fear” has within it the seeds to help you leave fear behind and grow into the amazing human being you were intended to be!
For more information about Perry Chinn and “Soaring Beyond Fear” visit www.SoaringBeyondFear.com
— Tyler R. Tichelaar, Ph.D., and author of the award-winning Narrow Lives
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